Leamington man named a Point of Light by Prime Minister David Cameron

Martin Banbury and his wife Felicity.
Martin Banbury and his wife Felicity.

A Leamington businessman who founded the Acorns Coventry & Warwickshire Fundraising Group was named a Point of Light by Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Martin Banbury, 62, is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Each day someone in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

In 1990, Mr Banbury set up the fundraising group in Coventry to raise money for the Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust which provides specialist palliative care to life-limited and life-threatened children and young people, as well as emotional and practical support to the whole family.

Mr Banbury and the group organise many fundraising events, including golf days, charity dinners, race-days, afternoon teas and quiz nights.

Since being set up, the group has raised over £750,000 for children with life-limiting illnesses

The group celebrated its 25th anniversary in November, and has an annual fundraising target of £50,000.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Martin has worked tirelessly over the last 25 years to raise a fantastic amount of money for Acorns Children’s Hospices.

“As well as leading the team in Coventry to raise money throughout the year, Martin has gone the extra mile by cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia.

“I am delighted to recognise Martin as the UK’s 416th Point of Light.”

Mr Banbury launched the group after he heard about Acorns at one of his children’s school parents evening and arranged to visit the hospice in Selly Oak, Birmingham.

He is assisted by his wife, Felicity, and a small dedicated group of like-minded volunteer friends.

In the last year, Acorns has cared for 23 children up to the age of 18, and provided support to 33 families from just the Coventry area, including those who are bereaved.

Martin is the 416th winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush.

Mr Banbury said:“I am extremely pleased and honoured to receive this unexpected award.

“I am so fortunate to have a great team working with me to hopefully ensure that the special service provided by everyone at Acorns can continue to benefit life limited children and their families in our area.”